02 September 2015

Hollinwood gives it some welly for charity!

A fun day at our Hollinwood Business Centre has raised £2,000 and counting for two fantastic charities and cement a community atmosphere within the centre

Photographs by Dave Skinner

A fabulous fun day at our Hollinwood Business Centre has raised £2,000 and counting for two fantastic charities.

The action packed day, organised by Business Centre Manager Walter Urquhart, saw our customers and their families, as well as specially invited groups, treated to a host of activities including:

  • a ‘bush tucker trial’
  • races
  • art and craft stalls
  • a bouncy castle
  • face painting
  • prizes
  • visits from the local fire brigade and a London bus, as well as players from Oldham Athletic FC.

Walter was determined that the event would not only raise a big sum for charity, but would help cement a real community atmosphere within the centre.

All in good fun

Walter began by asking the 48 businesses at the site for donations – to be split evenly between Macmillan Cancer Support and local charity the Action Oldham Fund and began to build a programme of fun activities for all ages to enjoy.

“In my previous job at Sky I organised lots of fun team-building events and in the past I’ve done four charity pantomimes, so I had loads of ideas for a fantastic charity day that all the family could enjoy,” Walter says.

“Everyone really got into the spirit of the day.  We had some incredibly generous donations, up to £500, and lots of customers took part in our wellington boot throwing contest, three-legged egg and spoon race and cake baking challenge.

I even made customers a promise that if we raised more than £1,500 I’d take part in a bush tucker trial along with Oldham Athletic Assistant Manager, Dean Holden.

"To everyone’s delight, we raised more than enough.”

The trial turned out to be one of the highlights of the day, with more than 100 people watching the pair suffer the five course ‘meal’ at the business centre’s reception area.

Walter and Dean bravely devoured dishes of raw potato garnished with salt and pepper; a spoonful of cinnamon; spicy deep-fried mealworms; chocolate covered African ants and a whole scorpion.  Both men managed to complete every course and Walter admits that while the thought of eating the scorpion was the hardest part for him to overcome, some of the courses were surprisingly tasty.

“The day was jam packed with events and I was exhausted by the end of it!” says Walter.

“It was fantastic that so many people got to enjoy the day with their families, to do and see something totally different and to help some brilliant causes at the same time.  So many customers have said how much they enjoyed it and people have had the chance to make new friends and contacts too, which is just great.”

Suffering for the cause

Walter’s commitment to fundraising doesn’t end with a scorpion… He is determined to increase the charity total to £3,000 by the end of the year, and if the target is met he’ll have his legs waxed.  He’ll even let people bid for the chance to carry out the waxing. Now that’s dedication – good on you Walter!

Hollinwood Business Centre is a converted Victorian cotton mill, beautifully restored to retain much of the building’s original character and charm. It’s home to a wide mix of businesses, from large corporations to smaller offices and start-ups.  Customers can choose from a range of sizes of office space, storage units and studio space and can access three modern conference or meeting rooms.

To find out more about what this vibrant centre has to offer, contact Walter on 0161 6842319.